Sunday, March 19, 2017

Christine McVie and Lindsey Buckingham on cover of UnCut

Buckingham McVie are on the cover of Uncut, and inside in an exclusive interview, Lindsey Buckingham and Christine McVie reveal all about their new album as a duo, and how it fits into the storied past, present and future of Fleetwood Mac. “It’s that umbilical cord that can’t be broken,” says Christine. “It just pulls you back.”

Reviews Stevie Nicks with The Pretenders Live in New Orleans March 15, 2017

Stevie Nicks digs deep to deliver a personal show at the Smoothie King Center
Photo: Chris Granger

Expectations were high and should be when two iconic singers hit the same stage on the same night. Stevie Nicks and Chrissie Hynde, leading Pretenders, know where that bar is and each hit it Wednesday night at the nearly sold out Smoothie King Center.

The Gold Dust Woman took her adoring fans on a trip through her entire catalog. Stevie dug deep to her beginnings in Buckingham Nicks to Fleetwood Mac and on through her more than three-decade solo career.

Nicks pulled out classics and reached into what she calls her “gothic box of lost songs” to deliver a deeply personal show. Nicks is quite the storyteller and dropped golden nuggets of her musical history.

“It’s a journey, it’s a trip, come with me,” Nicks encouraged the crowd.

While she opened with Gold and Braid, a track she recorded but didn’t use on her enormous solo debut Bella Donna, Nicks quickly dished out some fan favorites.

If Anyone Falls from her 1983 “Wild Heart” album followed before she described what it was like to cut a solo album as Fleetwood Mac became the biggest band in the world in the late 70‘s.

Nicks promised not to break up Mac as she pursued a solo career with Atlantic Records while trying to figure out how to “make a girl Tom Petty record.”

Her producer and then boyfriend Jimmy Iovine brought her a song from Petty and it catapulted Nicks solo career.

“Stop Dragging My Heart Around” fired up the crowd and when Chrissie Hynde stepped in to fill Petty’s vocals on the duet, it was a special moment to watch the Rock and Roll Hall of Famers perform together.

The fifth song of the night was finally a Nicks-penned Mac hit, “Gypsy” from their “Mirage” album. Fans jumped up and danced like it was 1982 while Nicks did her signature spin.

Her sense of humor firmly intact, Nicks then joked after her solo success she “went back to make a record with, who were they? Oh Fleetwood Mac.”

Determined to make sure no one would say her solo career was a fluke Nicks said she wrote a lot of songs while touring with Fleetwood Mac for “Mirage.” When the tour ended, she went back into the studio to cut “The Wild Heart,” which became her second multi-million selling solo smash.

“I was not going to be a one-hit wonder,” she said.

Nicks voice was strong as she worked her way through “Wild Heart,” “Bella Donna” and “Enchanted.”

Then Nicks dove into the story of her next song as she sat in her living room in 2005 drawing while the news on the TV kept going back and forth to the massive hurricane bearing down on New Orleans. She said as a writer “you’re like a news reporter,” and began writing a poem about what she saw happening here.

“I’m going to write a story about someone who lives in the city and loves the city.  People will survive, they will rise to the occasion because they are a great city.” The result is the heartfelt New Orleans from her 2011 album In Your Dreams. It was a moving tribute to the city.

The best was saved for last as Nicks and her talented and accomplished 8-piece band knocked out Stand Back, the lead single from The Wild Heart. When the song ended a graphic showing Prince and Nicks together was revealed. Nicks said. “Prince and I were friends.”

She said one day she heard a Prince song and basically wrote and recorded “Stand Back” over it. Nicks said that they couldn’t go any further with it though until she got in touch with Prince to get his approval. He just happened to be in L.A. and dropped by the studio. Nicks said he loved it, played on the record and wished her good luck. The song she was listening to when she wrote the song was “Little Red Corvette.”

All night Nicks proved her sing and songwriting chops take second place to no one and while up to this point she only performed one Mac hit, she would finish the night with a Fleetwood flourish.

Nicks rolled out a powerful version of “Gold Dust Woman” from the all world hit “Rumours” as the band found one of its many highlights of the night.

After a much too long band introduction, she closed out the set with “Edge of Seventeen” while more of a tribute to Prince played out on the screen.

The enthusiastic crowd wouldn’t leave until they got a little more and Nicks delivered with “Rhiannon” as longtime friend, guitarist and musical director Waddy Wachtel led the way.

A Nicks concert though could never end without one more song, one she wrote in Aspen, Colorado in 1973.

A little song that she says took her “band to the top”, “Landslide.”

With Wachtel on acoustic by her side, Nicks was nearly pitch perfect on her signature song. It’s a simple song that tends to fill her fans with great emotion, bringing some to tears like the sweet woman sitting two seats away.

She wiped her eyes as Stevie said good night and a good night it was.

Stevie Nicks and the Pretenders teamed up for the best kind of nostalgia at New Orleans concert
by: Keith Spera
The Advocate
Photo: J.T. Blatty

The focus of Stevie Nicks’ current solo tour, she explained Wednesday at a nearly full Smoothie King Center, is “songs that I love to sing, not that I have to sing.” With that intention, she did herself, and her fans, a favor.

Her most fervent fans cheer whenever she so much as twirls around; they do not need to be force-fed a program of hits. Thus, her nearly two-and-a-half hour trip down memory lane, which included lengthy but charming and revealing stories, drew heavily from a cache of compositions that lingered for years in her “box of lost songs.”

Most of them deserved to be let out, especially by her full-bodied band led by Waddy Wachtel, the go-to session guitarist for the likes of James Taylor, Jackson Browne, Linda Ronstadt, Keith Richards, Warren Zevon, and, in the early 1970s, a then-unknown duo called Buckingham Nicks.

Nicks may well have been the beautiful, doe-eyed hippie-witch that every '70s male rock star wanted to date, but she was also relentlessly ambitious, determined to build a solo career independent of Fleetwood Mac. She wrote songs while on tour with the band; when her Mac-mates went on vacation, she went into a recording studio.

Unable to actually join Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, she settled for working with Heartbreakers producer Jimmy Iovine. The result was her multi-million-selling 1981 solo debut, “Bella Donna.”

That album’s lead single was the Petty duet “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around,” which he wrote with his guitarist, Mike Campbell. On Wednesday, Chrissie Hynde returned to the stage following her thrilling opening set with the Pretenders to share “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” with Nicks. Their connection and mutual respect felt genuine.

While making the follow-up to “Bella Donna,” Nicks was “more famous, a little more spoiled, not as focused.” Still, she was determined not to be a one-hit-wonder. The success of “The Wild Heart” confirmed she wasn't. She recounted how that album’s hit “Stand Back” is based on the melody of Prince’s “Little Red Corvette”; he came to the studio to approve her innovation and play on it.

Iconic Stevie Nicks performs in New Orleans, pays homage to the city
by Corrine Pritchett

Rock and roll legend Stevie Nicks touched the hearts of many audience members Wednesday night at her New Orleans performance.

This performance was particularly special when Nicks told the backstory of her song “New Orleans.” She wrote the song during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

She said the hurricane had a “huge effect” on her and she found herself trapped in front of the TV screen, staying up to date on every aspect of the Katrina story.

It devastated her that an entire city and everyone who lived there had to go through the hardships of a natural disaster, especially an atrocity like Katrina.

She said she knew she had to write about it, but didn’t want it to just tell a tragic story; she wanted to inspire. She wanted to express that the city would make it through tough times.

“The people hope that their lives will get better,” Nicks sang. “I wanna get back to New Orleans, I wanna sing out in the streets of the French Quarter.”

It was clear that the crowd was thankful and emotional toward Nicks’ heartwarming performance of “New Orleans.” People were standing and cheering more than they had for any other song.

Aside from the moving “New Orleans” performance, she put on an all-around beautiful show. Her sets were different from others on past tours. She featured images of her artwork on the backdrop and shined bright, vibrant colors into the crowd and onto the stage.

Her unique voice was untouched by the effects of aging and as always, she had her iconic blue shawl and classic twirl.

She twirls to the beat of the melody as if the music takes her over. Audience members joined in with her, twirling their arms and dancing to the beat.

She crooned famous songs such as “Stand Back” and “Landslide.”

“Stand Back” was written after she heard a Prince song on the radio. She spent hours writing lyrics to the sound of his music. She joked on stage about how strange and nerve-wracking it was when she called Prince out of the blue.

She told him about the song and he came over within the hour. He was laid-back the entire time, and when she asked him if he wanted to record the piano and guitar part of the song, he managed it in under an hour.

“I walked him out to his car, and I believe he was driving a purple Camaro,” Nicks said at the concert, raising her arms above her head. “How perfect?”

She wrote “Landslide” in Aspen, Colorado, in 1973. It was there that she was visiting with Lindsey Buckingham, with whom she collaborated on her first ever album, “Buckingham Nicks.” She went out on the balcony, looked out at the snowy hilltops and wrote music. The words and meaning of the song came to her easily.

However, it wasn’t released until two years later, on the Fleetwood Mac album.

Nicks’ 24 Karat Gold tour was completely different from anything she had ever done by being personal and wonderfully unique.

Toward the end of the show, Nicks said, “It will never be me singing ‘New Orleans’ to New Orleans again,” and the crowd was overcome with emotional cheers. She closed the show with a breathtaking performance of “Rhiannon” followed by “Landslide.” At the very end, she inspired the crowd once more by saying, “Do what you want; follow your dreams.”

Stevie Nicks shared her Katrina story at a sold-out New Orleans show
by Justin Mitchell

I wouldn’t be surprised if I was the only person under 55 on the Gulf Coast who doesn’t get overly excited about live music or going to a concert.

Sure, I don’t mind going to a concert or two if I love the artist, but you won’t catch my diva self trekking through mud at a festival or standing in the sun all day to get stomped on by drunk people and smell patchouli and nachos while waiting for the headliner who is 45 minutes late.

It’s just not my thing.

My boyfriend, Alec, loves Stevie Nicks and Fleetwood Mac. Like, he really loves them. Me? I love singing “Landslide” in my car and recently learned the words to “Rhiannon” because Alec plays it about once or seven times a day.

When his parents got him tickets to see Stevie in New Orleans, I knew it was going to be a concert he’d remember forever. So I wanted to make it special for him.

And by special I mean I wanted to be on my best behavior to make sure he had a good experience.

“I know this isn’t your thing, so if you could just dance when I ask you to dance and record when I tell you to record, that would be great,” he told me as we were parking. Miraculously, we made it to New Orleans and parked with minutes to spare before Stevie’s opener, The Pretenders, took the stage, and we didn’t murder each other. Praise be.

I got Alec a beer and myself a Diet Pepsi and waited for Stevie to take the stage. The faint smell of pot (and a little bit of body odor, courtesy of the drunk dude sitting behind us) wafted through the air.

My phone was in my hand, ready for Alec’s command to hit record.

Stevie, whose voice is undeniably haunting, gravelly and beautiful, came out in one of her famous capes, and the lighters came out and people started to scream.

I watched Alec’s eyes get big. It seemed a magnet had pulled his entire body more toward the stage.

I was waiting for a tear or two to fall, but it was me who began to get emotional as Stevie told us a story about what she was doing as Hurricane Katrina barreled toward the Gulf Coast in 2005.

She was not working at the time, she said, and she loved to draw and make art when she wasn’t recording an album. Stevie liked to play the television while she drew, for background noise, but she rarely watched it. But when she saw Katrina, she said she became mesmerized and watched the hurricane’s track as it got closer and closer to the Mississippi Coast and New Orleans.

The storm moved her. She felt an immediate connection with her fans in the South. Then and there, she finished a drawing she’d started in the ’80s. It was her image of Hurricane Katrina. She had never shared it with anyone until the concert Wednesday.

I was going to take a picture to share, but I decided the memory was more important than the photograph.

Then, she played a song about New Orleans she had recorded in 2010 and stored away in what she called her “Gothic box of lost songs.”

The crowd got teary-eyed and watched as Stevie sang about Mardi Gras, balconies, beads and daiquiris.

As she sang, I was reminded of my life-changing Katrina experience, when my junior and senior English teacher told a class of scared, confused juniors that things were going to be OK after the hurricane ravaged Hancock County.

Remember, Kay Lovelace Palombo told us, home is going to be fine because the birds have returned to the trees and they are chirping. It was at that moment I knew things were going to be OK.

And when Stevie was singing Wednesday, that feeling came back again.

Review Stevie Nicks with The Pretenders Live in Columbus, Ohio March 17, 2017

Concert review: Stevie Nicks shares inspiring stories through and outside of music
by Hannah Herner
The Lantern
Photo: Jack Westerheide

Stevie Nicks is exactly what I wanted her to be, but I know she doesn’t care what anyone wants her to be. When the 68-year-old rock star took the stage at Nationwide Arena on Friday night, clad in a black lace dress and crazy-tall boots with a tambourine in hand, I knew it was going to be a night to remember.

As she told the crowd, this show was for her. She went through her catalog of songs and picked some of her favorites as well as some that hadn’t seen the light of the stage, for a show unlike the thousands shes done during her more than 40 year career.

Unsurprisingly, as a 21-year-old, I was much younger than most of the audience. Like, I’m sure, many of the young people there, I discovered Stevie Nicks through my grandfather. After he died, my dad and I were putting together a playlist for the reception, and he had me buy Fleetwood Mac’s “Rumors” album since it was my grandfather’s favorite. I never knew this before he died, but I’ve tried to make up for it by listening to the tracks and trying to see what he saw in them.

The best part of a concert is when an artist speaks directly to the audience, and does more than just awkwardly asking “How are you feeling tonight?” Nicks delivered with an anecdote for every single song throughout the night, plus some stories about her bandmates and clothing items she wore on stage —including the original Bella Donna cape! The concert lasted two hours and 15 minutes and by the end the crowd was chanting for her to just sing, but I live for personal anecdotes.  
The stories she told of working with Prince seemed to get the most response from the audience. She said she actually wrote my personal favorite of the night, “Stand Back” while listening to Prince’s “Little Red Corvette” in a limousine. She called him and he came over to approve his influence on the song and help her lay down the track before speeding off in a purple Camaro.

A surprising anecdote went along with “Moonlight (A Vampire’s Dream).” She said she was disheartened that people do not buy as much music in the age of the internet, so she didn’t want to make new music anymore. But the “Twilight” saga, of all things, pulled her out of a hiatus in 2011 as she wrote a song inspired by the movie and Bella and Edward’s love affair. I just love that Stevie Nicks loves “Twilight.” Amazing. 

Nicks also did a bit of motivational speaking, as many artists tend to do when they take the stage. She told audience members that, regardless of their ages, they should follow their dreams. A personally inspiring story was when she talked about wearing her one expensive outfit and strutting across campus when she was enrolled at San Jose State University in California, causing people to move out of the way. She that through her “vibe,” she convinced people by her “vibe” she was important, and she convinced herself that she was going to be a big rock star one day.

Nicks faked it until she made it, and she definitely made it.

Concert review | Stevie Nicks/Pretenders: Fans wait to hear old favorites held until late in show
By Curtis Schieber 
Photo: Eric Albrecht

About 20 minutes into her two hour-plus set last night in the Nationwide Arena, Stevie Nicks finally delivered one of her trademark spins. Remaining in place, she went once around, slowly. The packed house, especially the vocal diehard fans, went wild.

It seemed a long wait for those outside the cult of Stevie Nicks to get a little something that related to the gypsy-like, often self-obsessed Fleetwood Mac singer of lore. The current tour is not a review of her hits, with Mac and on her own, but a book and music tour without the publication of a book.

Some of the material came from her newest release, 2014's "24 Karat Gold: Songs From The Vault," a collection of unreleased compositions dating back to 1969. It dovetails, with the recent extended reissues of her first two solo albums, 1981's "Bella Donna" and 1983's "The Wild Heart."

Nicks has taken the opportunity to focus on a selection of her material deeper than just the hits and, more importantly, to tell the stories behind most of them.

It was, perhaps, too much information. While for a time at the beginning, the finely detailed chronology of songs such as "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around" were interesting—who knew that she was such an admirer of Tom Petty that she sought out their producer, Jimmy Iovine for her first solo album, "Bella Donna." Or that "Stop Draggin'" was borrowed from Petty after Iovine didn't hear a hit on that collection?

That one and the Prince story that explained the inspiration for the 1983 dance hit "Stand Back," were keepers. Turns out Nicks heard "Little Red Corvette" on the radio, composed "Stand Back" based on it and eventually enlisted Prince's help finishing it.
Many of the other stories became tedious as the set wore on, at least to most, other than the fanatics.

Though a few songs such as "Gypsy," the newly recorded vintage composition "Starshine" and the raving dance number "Stand Back" not only fed the legend but provided memorable performances, it wasn't until "Gold Dust Woman," late in the show, that the Stevie Nicks we've come to expect came around. Building the mystery from the start, the singer ended fairly convulsing, as if possessed by the characters in the song.

The contrast between the storytelling and the Pretenders, who opened the evening, couldn't have been greater. Chrissie Hynde and her newest incarnation—which, after 37 years still includes founding drummer Martin Chambers—delivered a vibrant hour-long set that felt as comfortable as an old pair of shoes but didn't rely on nostalgia for its appeal.

Old faves including "Back On The Chain Gang," "Stop Your Sobbing," "Brass In Pocket," and the smoldering reggae-based "Private Life" proved that, at 65 Hynde can still deliver the goods with no-nonsense and fevered rock-and-roll.

Review Stevie Nicks Live with The Pretenders Memphis March 8, 2017

Stevie Nicks, Chrissie Hynde in fine form on double bill

It was a fitting close to International Women’s Day as two of rock’s iconic female figures, Stevie Nicks and the Chrissie Hynde, took the stage of FedExForum on Wednesday. Appearing with her solo band, Fleetwood Mac star Nicks was the ostensible headliner, but it was Hynde and her group The Pretenders who stole the show, with both women presenting district and distinctly different visions of musical and personal empowerment.

Resuming her work with the Pretenders last summer after a four-year break, Hynde and the band — which includes founding drummer Martin Chambers and new-era additions James Walbourne on guitar, Nick Wilkinson on bass and Eric Heywood on pedal steel — sounded sharp and inspired during a 15-song set that covered the expected hits as well as material from the band’s recent album, “Alone.”

Hynde was in classically cantankerous form early on, rightfully berating a couple of audience members down front who were popping off cell phone camera flashes in her face. After apologizing — on their behalf — Hynde settled down and found both the aggression and nuance of songs like “My City Was Gone” and “Stop Your Sobbing.”

Thirty-five years after the implosion of the original Pretenders lineup — following the death of guitarist James Honeyman Scott and the firing and subsequent death of bassist Pete Farndon — Hynde and Chambers have somehow managed to keep the group a compelling force, with the new members, particularly flash guitarist Walbourne, providing a fresh spark.

One of rock’s most stylish singers, Hynde also showed a depth of emotional range on the spare ballad “I’ll Stand by You,” while one of her rare solo songs, “Down the Wrong Way,” seemed to take on new life in the Pretenders context.

Ohio native Hynde took the opportunity to rave about Memphis, having visited several local haunts — Graceland, Shangri-La Records and Imagine Vegan CafĂ© — on a day off before the concert. She noted that she skipped a return to the local jail, where she stayed during the Pretenders' first tour on disorderly conduct charges after kicking out the windows of a police car. “They didn’t want me back,” she quipped.

After a brief break, Nicks and her big band — which included longtime guitarist/musical director Waddy Wachtel on guitar — emerged, sounding strong, if somewhat measured during their 18-song performance.

Nicks presented the set as part storyteller’s session, part deep dive into her catalog. Vocally, she was in fine form, but the somewhat awkward pacing — songs broken up by Nicks’ long  narrative interludes — meant that musical momentum was hard to sustain.

Still, Nicks’ tremendous personal charm — part girl next door, part witchy woman, part mother figure — was hard to resist, and the crowd of devotees were held rapt by her, expressing their devotion vocally and visually, with many dressing in homage to her (sartorially speaking, the audience at a Nicks concert could double for a renaissance fair crowd).

The liveliest moment of Nicks' set came during an early version of the Tom Petty-penned “Stop Dragging My Heart Around” as Hynde emerged from the wings and the women, along with Wachtel, presented the song as a three-way romantic drama.

Ultimately, amid all the stories and banter, Nicks managed to cover all the expected ground, delivering strong versions of her solo hits (“Stand Back,” “Edge of Seventeen”) and closing with a flourish of Fleetwood Mac favorites (“Rhiannon,” “Gold Dust Woman,” “Landslide”) that were impossible to resist.

- Bob Mehr
The Commercial Appeal

Review: A Night of Nostalgia with Stevie Nicks
Memphis Flyer

"We've followed her for seven cities now," a man 20-years-my-senior told me midway through Stevie Nicks' 18-song set. "Amazing, after all these years, she's still got it." 

She never lost it. Backed by a multi-piece band that included a pianist, hammond organist, two backup vocalists, a drummer, bassist, and longtime musical director and guitarist Waddy Wachtel, Nicks' brought a storied discography to life — a "gothic trunk of lost songs." Tracks she wrote over the span of 40 plus years; deep cuts from albums that seldom or never got the live treatment. The audience didn't mind, an eclectic bunch: mothers and daughters, married couples and young couples, a man in a top hat hopelessly waving a bouquet of white roses in Nicks' direction, a pack of gypsies who led me to my seat. 

The energy was palpable, though, when Nicks and co. rolled through Fleetwood favorites like Gypsy, a moment when anyone still sitting found their feet; Gold Dust Woman, made bigger than ever by her band; Rhiannon, the alcohol had taken hold by this one, there was lots of aisle-dancing; and Landslide, the stripped down closer, during which there was lots of hugging and audible disappointment that the show would soon end. 

Nicks, donning a black dress with flowing sleeves, a sequined shawl, black fingerless gloves, and, for "Bella Donna," the original silk chiffon scarf ($2,000 when purchased, "ah, shit, that's a lot of money, Stevie," said a concerned person behind me) draped over her in the 1981 promos, paused briefly after her first song and scanned the Fedex Forum. 

"You have to let us, for a minute, sink into your Memphis-ness," she said. "You know this is a very special city. This is on that list of cities — Los Angeles, San Francisco, Nashville, Memphis, New York — where you come into the city knowing those are the important shows. I'm extremely happy to be here in your musical city that has so much history." 

Each song came with a story, a bit of nostalgia about who she was and where she was when they were written. Stand Back was born after Nicks heard Prince's Little Red Corvette on the radio and wrote lyrics around his melody. After getting his approval, Prince visited her in the studio, where he played on the track, and the two played a game of basketball. A montage of photos of Prince would later appear on screen behind her, a source of motivation for Nicks. 

"The sad thing is now he's gone," Nicks said. "But when I sing Stand Back, he's here. When I'm nervous, I say, 'Prince, walk with me.' And he does." 

Nicks' storytelling broke up what could have been a traditional arena rock production. "I could do this until I'm 90 years old," Nicks said. "Because I have fans who are kind enough to listen." Her diving into the details brought a closeness to the audience, removing a wall. We could have been in her living room. When she went into Stop Draggin' My Heart Around, which she wrote with Tom Petty as their friendship blossomed, show opener Chrissie Hynde of The Pretenders appeared from the darkness to sing. 

Earlier in the evening, The Pretenders' bare-bones band — drums, bass, guitar, pedal steel — showcased Hynde's magnetism. On "I'll Stand By You," Hynde's vocals were as powerful as they've ever been. Wearing a Shangri-La Records T-shirt, Hynde said the band had a better experience in Memphis this go around, visiting Graceland and Imagine Vegan instead of the jail where she was once held overnight for disorderly conduct. 

"Memphis is progressing in the right way," Hynde said. "But I didn't go to the jail where I was held overnight for kicking out the windows of a police car. They didn't want me back." 

Closing the show, Nicks revisited 1973, when she lived for three months in Aspen, Colorado on $250. One evening while home alone in a condominium where she was renting a room, Nicks' wrote Landslide on an acoustic guitar, finding the lyrics as they came to her. 

"I was a little girl, and I wrote this little song, and this little song took all of us to the top," Nicks said. "Did I ever dream I'd be in Memphis playing for you?" 

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Review Stevie Nicks Live in Tulas, Oklahoma March 6, 2017

Stevie Nicks revisits storied career at BOK Center
Tulsa World

Stevie Nicks has it. And she gets it.

Some folks are blessed with “it,” a difficult-to-describe quality that helps make a person remarkable.

“It” is a gift, really. You can’t teach it. You can’t buy it. You just have it, or you don’t.

Nicks has “it.” This was evident the second she arrived on stage Monday night at the BOK Center.

Between Nicks’ aura (swear you can almost see the glow) and that hypnotic voice (Homer’s sirens should take lessons from her), it was reinforced during a two-hour, 15-minute set that this person is a singular, special talent. Good luck finding another one like her.

And, as mentioned up high, Nicks “gets it” — she gets that she can make a concert experience more meaningful, more personal, by engaging a crowd in conversation rather than hurriedly plowing through a set list and saying “goodbye, Tulsa.”

Nicks performed, encore included, 17 songs. Before almost every song, she told a story related to the song. And, in rare instances when she went immediately from one song to another with no chit chat in between, she “back-splained” the tunes she had just sang.

I don’t know how the majority of attendees felt about Nicks shifting back and forth between sing gear and talk gear, but why in the heck wouldn’t you want a concert to be a one-of-a-kind experience with artist commentary? If all you want is song after song with no elaboration, maybe a greatest hits album should be your next adventure. Here’s to more artists using the Nicks concert format instead of being mute or predictable.

One of the first stories Nicks told was a recollection of her desire to take a break from Fleetwood Mac and record a solo album. While making her first solo album, she was told the album didn’t have a single. Thankfully, longtime pal Tom Petty had a song ready to go. He teamed with her for “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around.” Nicks said the song kicked her album “right up into the stratosphere,” and a solo career was successfully launched.
Because of Petty, Tulsa has a six-degrees-of-Kevin Bacon connection to Nicks. When Petty was a pup, he lurked about Tulsa during the Leon Russell/Shelter Records era. “A lot of people used to think Petty was from Tulsa,” Dwight Twilley, who was in the Shelter Records stable, told the Tulsa World in 2010.

Petty and the Heartbreakers received the Legend Award at the 2003 Radio Music Awards in Las Vegas. The presenter was Nicks, who said at that time, “(Petty) not only started out as my greatest musical influence, but today he’s still my greatest musical influence.”

Nicks’ BOK set included a song (“Starshine”) she recorded with Petty and the Heartbreakers many years ago.

“It was really such a good track that, if either one of us had been doing a record, it would have gone on one of those records,” she said. “But neither of us was doing a record, so it went into what I like to call the gothic trunk of lost songs and there it stayed until now.”

The song is a track on Nicks’ new album, “24 Karat Gold: Songs From the Vault.”

Nicks’ set was a mix of new and old, of solo works and Fleetwood Mac songs (“Rumours,” the monster Fleetwood Mac album that everybody — everybody — owned turned 40 last month). Hits revisited during the show included “If Anyone Falls,” “Gypsy,” “Stand Back,” “Gold Dust Woman,” “Edge of Seventeen,” “Rhiannon” and “Landslide.”

Nicks’ told a story about how the Prince song “Little Red Corvette” inspired her to write “Stand Back.” She said she feels like Prince is standing beside her when she performs the song now.

Early in the show, Nicks sang “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” and the crowd cheered when she was joined on stage by Chrissie Hynde, lead singer of the opening act, the Pretenders. Hynde said during the Pretenders’ gig that she used her spare time in Tulsa to visit the Woody Guthrie Museum.
Near the end of the show, Nicks, 68, expressed appreciation for the crowd and said she feels like she could do this for another 10 years. She’s got “it” on her side.

Sunday, March 05, 2017

Eagles and Fleetwood Mac East, West Festivals

Eagles and Fleetwood Mac Planning New York and Los Angeles Festivals
by Dave Brooks

Organizers hope the Classic East and Classic West concerts at Citi Field and at Dodgers Stadium will become an annual event.

Two of rock’s most venerable acts are planning a bi-coastal music festival this summer and are hoping to develop an annual franchise around the concert series.

The Eagles and Fleetwood Mac will headline the festivals being billed as Classic East and Classic West in July, Billboard has learned, with shows planned for Citi Field in New York and Dodgers Stadium in Los Angeles.  

Each festival will take place over two days with additional artists to be announced in the coming months. A number of big-time music companies are involved in the blockbuster concert concept including​ Azoff MSG Entertainment, Live Nation, the Oak View Group and CAA.

Classic East and Classic West will be the first concert performance by the Eagles since the death of band founder Glenn Frey in Jan. 2016. The coast shows are the only dates Fleetwood Mac has scheduled for 2017, says a source.

The classic-rock driven festival follows the success of Goldenvoice and AEG Live’s Desert Trip festival featuring the Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, Roger Waters, Bob Dylan, Neil Young and The Who, which did gangbusters business in October 2016 -- to the tune of $160 million in gross receipts. AEG officials have not announced whether Desert Trip will return to the Empire Polo Club in Indio, Calif. in 2017.

Stevie Nicks, Fleetwood Mac thrive through touring, reissues, collaborations
By Ken Paulsen

For an act that hasn't had a top 10 hit in 30 years, Fleetwood Mac remains not just relevant but popular, with solo and group tours, a new collaboration in the works, a sustained radio presence, and several well-received reissues, including a new one on the way this month. Here's the latest on one of the world's most-enduring supergroups:

With the success of Fleetwood Mac's reissues of Rumours, Tusk and Mirage, Stevie Nicks has released deluxe reissues of her first two solo albums, "Bella Donna" and "The Wild Heart" (Rhino Records). "Bella Donna" revisits her smash solo debut, with early-80s standards "Edge of Seventeen" and the collaborations "Stop Dragging My Heart Around," with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, and "Leather and Lace," with Don Henley. The second disc is packed with soundtrack contributions, demos and alternate takes -- a funkier version of "How Still My Love," and a Nicks-only "Leather and Lace" are among the highlights. Disc Three covers 14 tracks from her 1981 solo tour, including standout tracks from the album and her Fleetwood Mac hits "Dreams," "Sara" and "Rhiannon."

The "Wild Heart" reissue covers 2 CDs -- the remastered album and a disc of rare tracks and demos. The reissue shows Nicks at the top of her game vocally, with a synthesizer-heavy sound that may not be timeless, but has firm roots in 1983 pop (not a bad thing at all). Her signature song, "Stand Back," takes center stage but a favorite is "I Will Run To You" with pal Tom Petty. Their chemistry and vocal harmony -- her rasp, his twang -- is superb. It was disappointing that an under-construction version of "Stand Back" was not included on disc 2, but other tracks are solid, including "Sorcerer," originally written in 1972, and another early track, "All The Beautiful Worlds."

Next up among reissues is Fleetwood Mac's "Tango In the Night" (Rhino Records), the band's 1987 comeback album that yielded four top 10 hits. The reissue, due March 31, will include the remastered album, including "Big Love," "Little Lies" and "Everywhere," and a 13-track second disc filled with outtakes, demos and instrumentals. A more extensive version, including 180 gram vinyl, will also be available.

On the road
The complete five-member act completed a year-long worldwide tour a little over a year ago, grossing $200 million and leaving fans wanting more. (They might get their wish.) On the heels of a successful run of dates in 2016, Stevie Nicks kicked off a new leg of her 24 Karat Gold tour last week, including a well-received show in Portland. She brings her act to the region in April with dates April 2 at the Prudential Center in Newark and April 6 and the new Nassau Coliseum.

Fleetwood Mac shares something with the Eagles, another titan of harmony-based rock: After each band took a hiatus from making fresh music (Eagles, 1980, Fleetwood Mac, 1987), their sound never really disappeared from the radio -- it just endured. These days, if you're in your car for at least an hour a day and flip through Q104, WCBS-FM or Lite-FM, you're guaranteed to hear a Fleetwood Mac song several times a week. What happens is that the music stays alive, and the DJs, always looking for something fresh to say, share updates on the band, whose members have remained active. The result is that the fans stay connected, and their interest never fades.

The band's chemistry -- maybe explosiveness is a better word -- is legendary. But one unexpected pairing -- musical, not romantic -- is now in the works. Lindsey Buckingham and Christine McVie are reported to be collaborating on an album. The title at this point: Buckingham McVie, a clear nod to Buckingham-Nicks, the early 1970s pairing of that duo before they merged into Fleetwood Mac. "All these years we've had this rapport, but we'd never really thought about doing a duet album before," Buckingham told Rolling Stone about the collaboration. "There is that album [Buckingham Nicks] that I did with Stevie [Nicks] back before we joined the band, but other than that, it's all been Fleetwood Mac or solo."

Review Stevie Nicks and The Pretenders - San Diego March 2, 2017

Review Stevie Nicks and her stories at Viejas Arena
by Leslie Hackett
The San Diego Union Tribune
Photo: Leslie Hackett
There’s a fine line that separates telling stories between songs and letting the music speak for itself. Last night at Viejas Arena, Stevie Nicks was on the wrong side of that line.

Sure, it’s fun to hear that “Every time that big black limo came to pick me up (to go out on tour), that would be the end of a relationship.” Or that one of her first Bella Donna-era shawls cost her a fortune, but at least, according to her frugal mother, she bought silk chiffon, which would last forever (as was proven when Nicks put it on mid-show).

but, when you go to a Stevie Nicks concert, it’s her captivating, raspy singing voice — the one that has been reeling in fans for nearly 50 years — you want to hear most of all. And that’s not what happened Thursday night.

The highlight of the night turned out to be the opening act. The Pretenders — with Chrissie Hynde, one of the two remaining survivors of the original Pretenders, at the helm — rocked the arena. The band took the stage at 7:15 p.m. and roared through 15 songs in its hour-and-15-minute set.

As for stories in between songs? There was just one.

Hynde told the audience that she and the band took a bus from their hotel to Hillcrest (which was met with a roar of applause). “I always like to get on the bus to see if there’s someone who can recognize me,” she said.

Hynde and the band members stopped in to pick up some vinyl at Record City (“Because vinyl is final!” she shouted), and she was particularly impressed by the healthy juice bars and vegetarian restaurant offerings in the area. “But it’s still not as great as my hometown — Akron, Ohio,” she said with a laugh.

While The Pretenders were the opening act, they aren’t just any opening act. The Pretenders, like Nicks, is a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee band, and from opening song “Alone” to “I’ll Stand by You” to set-closer “Brass In Pocket,” they held true to the fact that they’re “gonna make you, make you, make you notice.”

As for Nicks’ musical performance, she stated from the beginning that it wasn’t going to be the traditional show she’s done a million times. Her 18-song set, which started at 8:45 p.m. and ended at 11 p.m., was mostly music from her solo albums, peppered with some Fleetwood Mac favorites, including the two encore songs of “Rhiannon” and “Landslide.” Many of those Nicks played came from what she called her “gothic trunk of lost songs.”

Probably the most powerful of the night was “Stand Back,” a song Nicks wrote to the melody of Prince’s “Little Red Corvette” and for which he played some of the musical track for on the 1983 “The Wild Heart” album version.

But, of course, it was an acoustic guitar and “Landslide” that pulled the whole show together. A song Nicks said she has tried over and over to walk away from the stage without playing remains a continual fan favorite, it continues to be a part of every show. Arms locking together and warm embraces could be seen among the diverse, multi-generational audience members — a sign that Nicks, even with all of her stories, can unite an audience and end on a high note.

Review Stevie Nicks with The Pretenders Live in Portland February 28, 2017

Stevie Nicks in Portland: Fleetwood Mac hits and gold dust memories
by David Greenwald

Photo: David Greenwald - Check out the 45 photos in the gallery

"This is a journey," Stevie Nicks said on Tuesday night. "This is a trip. I'm just asking you to come with me."

From the days of "Fleetwood Mac," Nicks has had fans who would follow her anywhere. But at her Moda Center tour stop, she was looking for indulgence: an evening of storytelling and memories accompanying rare, revived tracks from across her band and solo career, some gathered on 2014's "24 Karat Gold: Songs from the Vault."

"This is a journey," Stevie Nicks said on Tuesday night. "This is a trip. I'm just asking you to come with me."

From the days of "Fleetwood Mac," Nicks has had fans who would follow her anywhere. But at her Moda Center tour stop, she was looking for indulgence: an evening of storytelling and memories accompanying rare, revived tracks from across her band and solo career, some gathered on 2014's "24 Karat Gold: Songs from the Vault."

Nicks didn't skimp on the hits, including Fleetwood Mac staples: "Gypsy," "Gold Dust Woman," "Rhiannon" and finally, "Landslide." But she was more excited to share songs such as "Crying in the Night," a soaring, harmony-bright Buckingham/Nicks track she hadn't performed ever until this tour. It would've been a No. 1 hit if she'd given it to the Eagles.

Nearly every song came with the background behind it, and the storytelling was as compelling as the music. Nicks has always deeply inhabited the characters in her songs, and along with her indelibly witchy popular image, perhaps been too convincing as a bohemian spell-caster. The minutes with Nicks, human being, were surprising and often hilarious: she lacks, say, Cher's comic timing, but she was nearly as amusing--and much more sincere.

"I used to drop by his house, only after calling, of course," she said of politely visiting Tom Petty, whose work inspired her solo debut, "Bella Donna." "I wanted to make a Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers record, from a woman's perspective."

She picked up Petty duet "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around" after their mutual producer, Jimmy Iovine, got serious and told her she didn't have a single. Pretenders' Chrissie Hynde, who delivered a ferociously punk opening set, took the stage with visible joy to step into Petty's shoes for the song, and the two singers barely made it through without laughing at each other's moves.

And Nicks remembered the pre-fame days she spent waitressing and waiting for her musical breakthrough: it came for her and Lindsey Buckingham with Fleetwood Mac, and she sang "Belle Fleur" about the about the black limousine that whisked her away to rock fame and fortune. Making "Bella Donna" on her own a few years later meant convincing Fleetwood Mac she wasn't going to break up the band.

"Get it through your head!" she said, remembering the conversation.

She also paid tribute to the late Prince: after his "Little Red Corvette" inspired Nicks to write "Stand Back," she called him up for his blessing and 15 minutes later, he was at the studio to help record. On Tuesday night, the result--like so much of Prince's work--was remarkably current, a pulsing synth-rock freight-train that might've graced (or just inspired) 2011's '80s-reviving "Drive" soundtrack.

"Every time I sing that song, Prince is standing right there with me," she said.

On "Edge of Seventeen," she showcased his image on the video projections behind her, the song concluding with a nod to Prince's "When Doves Cry."

Hearing the Fleetwood Mac material apart from the band's gravity let it orbit in intriguing directions: "Gold Dust Woman" went through the heaviest transformation, gaining psychedelic weight to the point of stoner-metal. As the band went into a guitar break, Nicks head-banged, and a puff of cannabis smoke floated through section 122.

Among other revelations: it took the "Twilight" movies and their inspirational (!) teen vampire romance to lead Nicks back to the music industry after almost a decade away. She sang "Moonlight (A Vampire's Dream)" with a visual of rippling water and a full moon behind her--if this music thing doesn't work out, Nicks has a future in fantasy screensavers.

But for every behind-the-scenes moment, Nicks also gave us the comforting familiar: costume changes, tambourines and spin moves, and the captivating voice whose quivering wisdom the 68-year-old Nicks has only grown into.

"You have to believe in your heart," she advised. On Tuesday, it was easy to believe in hers.